Third search of Dhammakaya temple resumes this morning

A combined force of officials from the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), police, soldiers and local administration officials resumed the search at two suspected areas in the Dhammakaya temple after defiant monks and followers agreed to lift their blockades following a successful negotiation.

The negotiation was joined by Phra Thepratanasuthi, the head monk of Pathumthani province.

Two suspected areas inside the vast temple compund are Zone A and Zone B which covers total area of 200 rai where the Boonraksa building is located. The building houses sick monks.

The two zones are where the DSI had intercepted the mobile phone signals of the fugitive Phra Dhammachayo's personal phone number.

Today's search was the third time after almost a month long standoff between DSI officials and the defiant monks and followers setting up barricades to obstruct the search of the two zones.

Representatives from the Human Rights Watch, the National Office of Buddhism witnessed the search, as well as news journalists, both local and foreign.

DSI chief Pol Col Paisit Wongmuang said the search might take the whole day until they wanted monk is located.

He said it was not known if today's search would be the final search.

He said the main focus today is the Boonraksa building where officials suspected the defiant monk is hiding there.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)